A G H O S T
A N E N T I T Y
A N D A W I T C H
To travel out of one's comfort zone is scary for most people. Fellow travelers would share in between trips how daunting it was to lose a cherished possession to a burglar or how crazy it felt being left by one's commute. In my experience of traveling solo and with a buddy, I discovered that such scary traveler tales are not what they're all cracked up to be.
The Tale of The Hazy Boy Without An Arm
While drowning in my emotional crevice of self-pity at home for having a misunderstanding with my mom, I recklessly boarded a bus to get lost in Real, Quezon Province. I decided to check in at a beach resort there that's famous for surfing.
With tent pitched and having no food, I dragged myself out of the resort to catch a ride for the nearest town where I thought I could have a decent early dinner. It was past 4:00pm and it turned out that the last passenger jeepney in the area had gone. I waited in vain at the highway shed for one more hour until I decided to put on my earphones and crank up my iPod while I strolled along the long and winding Famy-Siniloan Highway. Not many vehicles were passing by as it started to get dark fast. I barely noticed that light posts were not that many and the ones visible were next to each other in great distances. It meant walking in patches of darkness with just the sporadic lightning in the sky as temporary source of light.
Since I was preoccupied with listening to loud music, I barely noticed a full figure of a male kid that suddenly crossed the street from the mountainside to creep behind me in a manner that imitated my gait and pace. I turned around to check who it was and saw the person's silhouette just 6 feet away from me... and without a left arm! The light from an incoming vehicle managed to make it more dramatic which stunned me, so I walked faster until it progressed into jogging. As I jogged and felt short of breath, I made a quick glance behind me and realized that I failed to evade my tormentor. I started to run for a couple of terrifying minutes more and prayed to God that I wouldn't be harmed that night. When I finally reached a lone light post in the area, a lit house became visible also. I made one more glance and the silhouette was suddenly gone.
The next day, my relative back in the neighboring town of Infanta informed me that the area where I experienced a ghostly apparition was actually a spot where an old resort building stood. Young students who took shelter there in 2004 during a typhoon all died from a tragic landslide.
|Sleepless in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte|
The Tale of 5 Sleepless Nights In Ilocos
My earliest solo travel was in the Ilocos Region where I toured Currimao, Laoag City, Batac City, Burgos, Bangui, Paoay, Pagudpud and Vigan City for 5 straight days coming from Metro Manila. For whatever reason, each destination I stayed in for the night did not make me have a restful sleep. I was literally just closing my eyes for a minute and then I'd open them again. Such was the routine for 5 straight nights regardless of the hotel, resort or inn that I was booked in.
Months after that trip, I told a friend about my experience. His opinion? He was confident that something -- an entity -- was staring at me all the time wherever I'd go during the trip that I felt the sense to be sensitive to it. At least that's what he thought was the most rational explanation for it.
I temporarily stopped blogging in late 2013 not because I got bored. I was actually bed-ridden that time for months leading to Christmas time. For a guy who stands at 5'7", I was not eating anything that led me to reach the deadly weight of 30 kg (66 lbs). I stopped eating not because I was anorexic. It just happened that I couldn't ingest anything liquid nor solid that wouldn't be painful when it touched the innards of my mouth, particularly just above my throat. Whenever I tried to even toss in a morsel of anything inside my mouth to pass through my throat, I'd get a lightning-like sensation that painfully enveloped my entire skull. I could feel the pain in my muscles, veins, and bones. Worse, there was mucus uncontrollably coming out of my nose every 5 to 10 minutes. I can honestly declare that I must have consumed a whole convenience store of tissues during the whole ordeal.
Prior to falling to such a dreadful weight, I had numerous doctors telling me different things but they all couldn't explain what I was feeling pain from and why mucus was falling like there was no tomorrow. As a result, I gave up all the meaningless consultations and decided that I'd just die from starvation, dried up like a prune.
|Fit at 135 lbs|
My nightmares consisted of the same person -- a lady -- tormenting me. I'd always feel spent waking up apart from experiencing my sorry physical state. Deep inside, I knew that the person in my nightmare was the one responsible for my mental and physical anguish. I knew this because I figured in a surprising spat with her which she started on social media and on text messages months prior the sudden presence of the physical pain and constant nightmares.
|Bouncing back at 80 lbs|
Interestingly, my last get-together with her was at an outing where I mysteriously lost my leather belt and I suddenly got feverish the night of the out-of-town trip. En route back to Manila the next day, I was even offered a soup by her at a fast food which she personally bought for me without me asking. I just remembered finishing the soup thinking that it was a nice gesture.
Upon arriving at home, the physical pain in my head manifested itself. It was to be the start of a year-long bout with forced starvation. She even attempted to arrange a special dinner for me which I begged off from because I was not feeling well anymore. For begging off, I received a series of nasty text messages which seemed odd to me. I sincerely think that if I went to that dinner, I'd be eating the poison that would have finally killed me.
I sincerely think she had a hand on it because my last nightmare with her in it involved her ceremoniously bidding farewell to me. The weird thing was she was in tow with a personal possession of mine while setting me free in my dream. Perhaps, it was to symbolize the part of my life that she took away from me -- roughly a year of torment. I guess it was also the length of the witchcraft contract.
I survived it not because I was strong. I sincerely believe that God kept me alive enough to forgive her because everyone, even the sinner of sinners, deserves a second chance.
I'm now back to my desired weight, but it's not the ideal one yet. The pain suddenly disappeared after I forgave her in my mind or as soon as the simple doctor-prescribed decongestant worked. It was like nothing creepy had happened. The nightmares stopped and so did my interaction with her.